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Bill will extend 9/11 probe

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A bill to extend the deadline for the Sept. 11 commission until after the presidential election will be introduced in Congress this week.

The move was welcomed by commission members and victims' relatives.

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"We need more time to do what we have to do," Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste told United Press International.

The current deadline, set by Congress, is May 27.

But there was concern that the 2-month extension that the panel had requested would land publication of its report in the middle of the presidential election campaign and risk politicizing the commission's findings.

But a bill introduced by Rep. Vito Fossella, a New York Republican, extends the commission until January 2005 -- well after Election Day.

"I believe the bill I will introduce meets the twin goals of giving the commission the time in needs to complete its work and hopefully removes partisanship from the process," Fossella said Sunday.

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